The Amalgam Cinematic Universe, also known as the ACU, is an American media franchise and shared fictional universe that is centered on a series of superhero films, independently produced by Amalgam Studios and based on characters that appear in publications by Amalgam Comics. The franchise has expanded to include comic books, short films, and television series. The shared universe, much like the original Amalgam Universe in comic books, was established by crossing over common plot elements, settings, cast, and characters.
The first film released in the ACU was Iron Lantern (2008), which began the first phase of films culminating in the crossover film Amalgam's Judgment League Avengers (2012). Phase Two began with Iron Lantern 3 (2013), and concluded with Ant-Man (2015). The films are currently in Phase Three, which began with the release of Super-Soldier: Identity War (2016). Marvel Television expanded the universe further, first to network television with Amalgam's Bruce Wayne: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D on ABC in the 2013–14 television season, followed by online streaming with Amalgam's Dare the Terminator on Netflix in 2015. Soundtrack albums have been released for all of the films, along with many of television series, as well as the release of compilation albums containing existing music heard in the films. The ACU also includes tie-in comics published by Marvel Comics, while Amalgam Studios has also produced a series of direct-to-video short films and a viral marketing campaign for its films and the universe with the faux news program WHIH Newsfront.
The franchise has been seen as an impressive and groundbreaking success in terms of a multimedia shared universe, though critics have found that some of its films and television series have suffered in service of the wider universe. It has inspired other film and television studios with comic book character adaptation rights to attempt to create similar shared universes. The ACU has also been the focus of other media, outside of the shared universe, including attractions at Disneyland and Discovery Times Square, two television specials, guidebooks for each film, a Lego video game, and a commercial with Coca-Cola. Feature films